Fort Worth toddler dies after being found in locked car

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on May 27, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Updated Thursday, May 27 at 11:22 PM

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FORT WORTH — A toddler who was reported missing in Fort Worth Thursday afternoon was found after a frantic search — lifeless inside a locked car.

The 18-month-old boy was pronounced dead at Cook Children's Medical Center a short time later. He was identified by family members as Alexander Morales.

Police spokesman Sgt. Pedro Criado said the child's mother called 911 around 12:30 p.m. after she said she couldn't find the toddler in the house. The mother said the Alexander had been put to bed around noon by her grandmother.

The boy's grandmother was supposed to be watching him as his parents slept; they both work late shifts. The grandmother reportedly left the house and went to the nearby residence of another family member.

Officers began to canvass the neighborhood in the 2900 block of McKinley Avenue in northwest Fort Worth. Police discovered Alexander "in obvious distress" inside a locked Nissan Altima sedan parked in a neighbor's driveway. There was a child's blue step stool next to the passenger's door.

After breaking a window, the boy was removed to a cooler location, but could not be revived.

"At this time, there are no indications of any foul play," Criado said. "However, that could possibly change depending on the outcome of the investigation."

Alexander's parents and grandmother were taken to police headquarters in separate cars to give their statements about what happened.

"The investigation is in the preliminary stages at this time," Criado said. "Those are questions that are going to hopefully be answered once the investigation is completed by the Crimes Against Children detectives."

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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